AUGUSTA, Ga. — The intercourse scandal. The mugshot. The debilitating accidents.

Tiger Woods definitely didn’t plan it this manner.

That solely made his 15th main title all of the extra rewarding.

Or, as Tiger put it not lengthy after tapping in a gimme putt Sunday for a one-stroke victory on the Masters:

“Overwhelming.”

For a lot of his life, the define that Woods and his hard-driving father, Earl, had so fastidiously laid out went simply as they meant.

However when Woods captured his fifth victory at Augusta Nationwide — and his first main championship in 11 years that should’ve felt like a number of lifetimes — he let loose a scream that mirrored the depths of his private {and professional} hell.

A few of it of his personal making, to make certain.

A few of it past his management, in all equity.

All of it resulting in a day that simply didn’t appear attainable, not because the grasp plan fell aside in so some ways.

Tiger Woods.

Main champion.

“Ahh, it suits,” Woods stated, beaming as he tugged on that well-known inexperienced jacket for the primary time since 2005, a photograph of Bobby Jones staring down above his left shoulder within the Butler Cabin.

For thus a few years, all the pieces match so neatly.

From his astonishing swings on “The Mike Douglas Present” on the age of two to changing into the primary participant to win three straight U.S. Beginner titles to capturing the Masters not lengthy after his 21st birthday by a whopping 12 strokes, the Tiger Means was pure perfection, producing hundreds of thousands for him and his sponsors.

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He married a Swedish mannequin, had two stunning youngsters and stored including one main title after one other, capturing his 14th by his early 30s, on a seemingly unstoppable quest to surpass Jack Nicklaus as the best champion of all of them.

Then, similar to that, all of it fell aside.

His marriage. His status. His physique.

He had main reconstructive surgical procedure on his left knee shortly after hobbling to what had been his most up-to-date main championship, a playoff victory within the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

Seems, that was solely a minor prelude to all that agony that was to return, a lot of it self-inflicted.

Whereas everybody was celebrating the Thanksgiving vacation in 2009, Woods crashed his SUV right into a tree and a fireplace hydrant exterior his Florida residence. That led to reviews of a myriad of extramarital affairs, wrecking the facade he and his father had constructed of the devoted athlete and excellent household man. In a single day, one of many world’s most well-known folks grew to become a punchline.

Woods checked right into a Mississippi clinic for greater than a month, apparently to cope with some kind of intercourse dependancy. Most of his main sponsors fled for canopy. Elin Nordegren divorced her dishonest husband.

In Woods’ return to golf on the Masters, he acquired a tongue-lashing from Augusta Nationwide chairman Billy Payne for his lack of ethical scruples and for the poor instance he set for America’s youth.

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A far cry, to make certain, from the greeting he bought Sunday within the interview room from green-jacketed moderator Craig Heatley, “Welcome again, Tiger. Or extra appropriately, welcome residence.”

If Woods thought issues couldn’t get any worse again in 2010, he was mistaken.

His physique continued to betray him, main to 1 surgical procedure after one other in an try to alleviate the unyielding ache. His again was such a large number that it grew to become a wrestle simply to stroll, or sleep, or play along with his youngsters. Woods confronted the very actual risk of by no means taking part in golf once more, not even for enjoyable.

“So the place is the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel?” he requested ruefully in 2015, a number of weeks earlier than Christmas. “I don’t know.”

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